Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

In an effort to reduce waste (and my grocery bill), I tasked myself to create a healthy dinner recipe entirely from ingredients that we already had on hand. Challenged accepted and attained! This easy, cheesy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Sausage and Spinach turned out to be one of the tastiest meals we’ve eaten in weeks.

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Spinach, Sausage, and White Beans - A super easy pasta dish with the most amazing flavor, ready in 20 min! @wellplated

For a household of two in which neither person is either a) a professional athlete or b) training for an eating contest, our monthly grocery bill is embarrassingly high. Although a large portion that expense is a necessary hazard of writing a food blog, I am also guilty of wracking up some serious Drive By Expenses*.

Drive By Expenses*: Costs incurred when I’m pushing (driving) my grocery cart down the aisle to pick up a specific ingredient for a blog recipe and, “Oh my goodness, this [fancy jar of olives; tub of my favorite salsa; bottle of wine] is on sale. I better buy seven!”

I check out, mouth gaping as the cashier announces my total, then open my pantry to put away my new groceries and discover that…everything I bought last week is still sitting on my shelf, unused.

Italian sausage with sun dried tomatoes, penne pasta, spinach, and lots of Parmesan cheese. A delicious and filling one-pan meal! @wellplated

I need to change my buying habits and make better use of the groceries I have already purchased. It’s less wasteful for the world and my wallet. Also, as this Sundried Tomato Pasta with Sausage and Spinach demonstrates, I have been missing out on some delicious, healthy recipes by ignoring my pantry!

Although the contents of my pantry and refrigerator will look different than yours, I am betting that much good can be found if you peek behind the open cereal boxes and half-eaten jars of nut butter.

This Sun Dried Tomato Pasta starts with a few items I always have on hand—dry whole wheat pasta (I love this brand), beans, garlic, semi-wilted greens, and cheese (obviously). I also had a package of chicken sausage links in the freezer, so they went into the skillet too.

This Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Sausage and Spinach was DELICIOUS. Easy, healthy, and ready in 20 min! @wellplated

The final touch is sun dried tomatoes. I love keeping a jar around, because they require ZERO effort but add INSTANT flavor to any recipe, especially pastas.

My pantry may be more fully stocked than yours (again, food blogger hazard), but this recipe is an easy guide you can adapt. No Great Northern beans? Use cannellini. No spinach or arugula? Try adding sautéed kale, broccoli, or whatever other leftover veggie is lurking in your crisper drawer. Vegetarian diet or no sausage on hand? This sun dried tomato pasta is still fantastic and filling without it.

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken Sausage, Spinach, and White Beans – EASY recipe that is absolutely delicious! Perfect for busy weeknights. @wellplated

Even if you do need to pick up a few ingredients to make this Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Sausage and Spinach, I promise it will be worth the trip. This pasta recipe comes together in one pan, is healthy and filling, and the combination of the tangy sun dried tomatoes with the zesty sausage and creamy white beans is nothing short of fabulous.

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Cheesy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Sausage, Spinach, and White Beans—an easy, healthy pasta recipe that comes together quickly. Flavorful and filling!

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces precooked chicken sausage links (I used Trader Joe’s roasted garlic flavor), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 (14-ounce) can reduced-sodium white beans, rinsed and drained (I used Great Northern; cannellini or white kidney would work as well)
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 5 cups mixed tender greens (I used half arugula, half baby spinach)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped fresh herbs, for serving (parsley, basil, green onions, or anything you like or have on hand)

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid, then drain the pasta and set aside.
  2. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high. Add the sausage and brown on all sides. Reduce the heat to medium, then add the white beans, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the beans are warmed through and the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the reserved pasta, then the spinach and arugula. If the pasta seems dry, add a little of the reserved pasta water to loosen it. Cook just until the greens wilt, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and sprinkle with Parmesan and herbs. Enjoy warm.
  • Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of chicken stock (or water) to keep the pasta from drying out. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and herbs before serving.
All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 (of 6)

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 350
  • Total Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 33mg
  • Sodium: 430mg
  • Carbohydrates: 46g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Protein: 20g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

If you like this Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Sausage, Spinach, and White Beans, don’t miss these other healthy pasta recipes!

Easy Vegetable and Shrimp Pasta with Garlic and White Wine

Garlic Shrimp Pasta Stir Fry

Mozzarella Meatball Casserole. FINALLY a healthy pasta recipe your entire family will love! Made with ground turkey, whole wheat pasta, spinach, and lots of fresh gooey mozzarella cheese

Mozzarella Meatball Casserole

Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta. Easy and SO GOOD. A romantic dinner recipe that's ready to go in 20 minutes!

Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken

Mediterranean Eggplant Pasta. A light and healthy 30 minute meal!

Eggplant Pasta with Red Pepper and Tomato

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

20 comments

  1. YUM! I have been sooo good about my pantry lately. When I make my weekly meal plan, I aim to use 3-5 things up from the pantry. And I make my menu in the kitchen so that I can check ‘do I really need more canned tomatoes, etc.’

    LOVE this!

  2. This casserole sounds great.  I definitely like one dish meals.

  3. Everything you make looks so yummy….I really hate to cook :) I’d rather look at the pictures of your food you cook and wish I had some lol….

    I’m just cooking for one, maybe that’s why….today I have fish in the oven…..but not really healthy fish tho…..but fast….was going to go to Arby’s for a Reuben and decided I needed to cook the last 2 pcs. fish in the freezer….don’t know what else I will have, could make a salad, but a lot of trouble….so I’m just sitting here eating Russel Stover chocolate and waiting for my fish to get done…..:) told ya I didn’t eat healthy….
    maybe tomorrow…. 

  4. You always do such delicious things with sundried tomatoes! Gorgeous. We spend a crazy amount of money on food, too. Last week we were out of town for Memorial Day weekend, and it was my birthday, so we didn’t make it to the grocery store. After about 15 or 16 days of surviving on what we had, we finally caved and stocked up again, but in that time, we were FINE cooking from what we had! It definitely made us realize that we don’t reallllly need to buy so many groceries :) 

  5. hey girl this looks really good! So creative!

  6. I know all to well what you mean about a higher monthly grocery bill for two! Matt and I eat quite a bit between us, but our more frequent trips to Aldi are primarily due to eating our fresh produce so quickly. He and I can’t seem to eat enough greens, vegetables, and fruits. Also, I claim the blog “trap” too. :-) This recipe and approach are perfect! Thank you for demonstrating how keeping a few staples on hand can really pull together a phenomenal meal. Great job, Erin!

  7. This looks so delicious! I am obsessed with sun dried tomatoes! 

  8. You have me drooling every time I stop by. This dish looks so fresh and so delish. I’ve gotta try this one soon!

  9. Yum, this looks fantastic, Erin!  And even though it has spinach AND tomatoes in it, I think it’s something my husband would actually eat (and love!), too.  Oh, and I’m totally with you on the “drive-by” items… I need to know how anyone manages to resist!

  10. I love being able to throw together a meal with what I have on hand! This would be a hit at our house!

  11. Ah! I know how im going to adapt this to what’s in my fridge! Wilted sliced mushrooms instead of the sausage, broccoli instead of leafy greens and garbanzos instead of white beans. Can’t wait And my fridge is going to be so cleaned out afterwards! I bet it’ll be delicious…!

  12. Ah and another note, when I find myself with a stuffed pantry/fridge I put all grocery purchases on pause and devise a menu plan that will use up everything I have. I can only buy things if they are super necessary to use up what I have. I find it makes me get really creative. And you end up saving a couple weeks worth of groceries too, especially when you find yourself with all kinds of dried beans and grains. 

  13. SIGN ME UPPPP for this! YUM! 

  14. Erin,

    Just made it for my family and it was a hit! I can’t believe how healthy it is and it is beyond yummy!

    Thank you for sharing this fantastic recipe. It’s a winner!

    • I forgot to add that I used Einkorn pasta, but I think I may try the pasta you recommend, as the stats are similar.

      • Sara, I’m so excited to hear that you enjoyed this recipe! I’ve actually had Einkorn pasta too and really enjoy it as well. Thanks for trying the recipe and letting me know how it came out for you!

  15. We tried this tonight after getting home at dinner time from being up north, and it was awesome. My hubby commented several times (from his perch in front of the US Open, of course) that it is delicious and needs to go in the regular rotation. THANKS!

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